Piers Morgan interviews Hans Niemann

by Albert Silver
10/16/2023 – Piers Morgan is one of the best known interviewers of our day, having had one-on-ones with people of all walks of life and interests. Among the more unexpected guests on his program which is now streamed on YouTube was none other than Hans Niemann, who needs no introduction. Piers Morgan was exceptionally direct, and the interview speaks for itself.

ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024 ChessBase 17 - Mega package - Edition 2024

It is the program of choice for anyone who loves the game and wants to know more about it. Start your personal success story with ChessBase and enjoy the game even more.


The first thing that strikes one upon starting the interview is that Hans Niemann comes accompanied by his legal counsel. While Morgan knew this going in of course, he addresses the point right at the start. Hans explains that aside from being his lawyer, he is a mentor, and friend. Morgan has no choice to accept this, but we can see he is not impressed with this explanation. With good reason.

If you are so worried about the questions, don't go on the show, and if you only want some head nodding to guide you on whether to answer a question or not, he could easily have stayed off-camera. Clearly he is here to actually answer some questions if he sees fit. Is this an interview or an interrogation?

Piers Morgan did not pull his punches, whether because he already had his own strong opinions beforehand, or because he was not a little miffed to find himself speaking with a lawyer as well. 

"I mean if I play with my video if I play with my village friends at golf there's a kind of integrity to the to the way we play even though there's no money on the line if one of them cheated at golf and I caught them, I might give them a pass, although it would just be unthinkable, they would do that but if they did it again I'd never play with them again."

Piers Morgan was referring to the openly admitted incidents by Hans when he had been 12 and 16. He then cites himself as a means of comparison:

"I was chess champion of my prep school and I never cheated. Never crossed my mind"

Piers Morgan was deeply interested in the aspect of anal beads, a meme promoted by Elon Musk at the time. However, the interviewer treated this as something real, asking if they checked for these things with a cavity search before entering the playing hall. The insistence with which he pushed this made it clear this was his real focus of interest, much to the exasperation of Hans and his counsel. 

The full interview

The feedback to the video was a very mixed bag, with some finding this hilarious, while others commenting on how singularly strange the interview had been. Hans commented early on that the entire debacle had been a learning experience, having to deal with the often negative media, and it is probably safe to say this was one more lesson in that category.


Born in the US, he grew up in Paris, France, where he completed his Baccalaureat, and after college moved to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He had a peak rating of 2240 FIDE, and was a key designer of Chess Assistant 6. In 2010 he joined the ChessBase family as an editor and writer at ChessBase News. He is also a passionate photographer with work appearing in numerous publications, and the content creator of the YouTube channel, Chess & Tech.